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Alzheimer's Research UK creates virtual reality app to simulate dementia

Alzheimer's Research UK has turned to virtual reality (VR) for its latest awareness campaign, which aims to provide a poignant experience of what life is like for people with dementia.

VR’s seemingly limitless potential has generated huge excitement around the technology, especially given the immersion it creates, which can help strengthen the emotional experience for users.

It’s this aspect of VR that has led Alzheimer's Research UK to launch a new app called ‘A Walk Through Dementia’, which attempts to illustrate a sense of what dementia feels like for people who suffer from it.

The Android-exclusive Google Cardboard app puts users in the shoes of someone suffering from the condition as they try to navigate everyday experiences such as walking home or navigating a supermarket.

The app has been created with input from people with dementia who helped described just how different everyday situations can be for them. With this input Alzheimer's Research UK was able create an experience for the viewer that includes common symptoms such as misperceptions, short-term memory loss and blind spots.

Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, said the app was created to address the problem of “how we can try and to put across what life is like with dementia and then use a virtual reality app to try and explain that."

Visitors to St Pancras International station in London can try out the app up until 5pm on Saturday 4 June.